We believe that Britain needs a total re-organisation of government.
So what is wrong with the government we have?
As I see it: -
Too may career politicians who are in politics as a means to a good living without much effort or need of qualifications.
Too may safe seats; most changes of government are brought about by a small number of seats changing hands. Most M. P.s have, in effect, a job for life. This situation is protected by an electoral system that creates safe seats. Some seats, e.g. North East Somerset, are changed more by the boundary commission than by the voter.
Recently there have been scandals concerning the mis-claiming of expenses, frankly fraud, by M. P.s. This by people who are part time and better paid for that than most people who work full time. Add to this the benefits to be gained by lobbying by financial interests. Also the practice of building a career outside politics as company directors where the position of M. P. is turned to personal advantage.
Add to this the way various ministers have lied to us on various matters from WMD in Iraq, no government money for Hinkley Point nuclear power station. The denied privatisation of the NHS. The list is long.
A far bigger lie, the alternative but undeclared, agenda of the Tory Party as set out in the Book “Direct Democracy”. This book written by 23 M. P.s and others makes clear that there is just such an agenda. This includes the total privatisation of the NHS and the education systems. “Direct Democracy” is listed as a resource on this website but a link cannot be given as the book is not on the market and its links online are not copy able by the usual means. It is intended to be a strictly available to a limited audience. I found a link on a Face book page
All this fails to consider the problems of repeated incompetence as set out in “The Blunders of our Governments”.
So what is to be done?
A change to the voting system is the first requirement. Proportional Representation is the usual answer. We agree, but there are claimed objections to P.R. Loss of the constituency. Creation of coalitions. Too many parties. And so forth. The answer here is of course a good system of P.R.
My suggestion is a system that I call AMS2. It is a variation of the system that Germany was made to use as part of the post war reconstruction plan. It is simple, gives a proportional outcome, preserves the constituency and unlike the German system has no party lists.
How does it work?
1/ Constituencies would be larger than now. How large is a separate issue. Twice the size of a current constituency would be themost likely.
2/ Each party may put up two candidates per constituency.
3/ Every voter has two votes, one for the candidate and one for the party.
4/ When the candidate vote is counted the highest polling candidate wins as in our current system.
5/ The party count is then done to determine the proportional element. This is done on a regional basis. The highest polling un-elected candidates of each party are added in until proportionality achieved over the region and all seats are filled.
Under the German system the top up candidates are taken from lists drawn up by the parties. This allows parties to put up unelectable candidates that the party wants. AMS2 avoids this, as all candidates would face the voter.
Germany has an unconstitutional outcome one during the 1970s when the outcome was not proportional. They decided hat nothing is perfect, the procedure had been followed correctly so they had to let the result stand. We could avoid that particular problem from occurring by employing larger constituencies with three candidates per constituency but this would add complication for a small gain. So I would opt to accept the possibility of imperfect proportionality for a more straightforward system.
Now we come to the issue of Career politicians. Many of our M.P.s have never had a job. The have gone from school to college then on to become researchers to M.P.s and finally they stand for parliament. They know little or nothing of the lives the rest of us lead. Or of the matters they are called upon to debate.
I believe that no one should be able to stand for parliament unless they have a level of real life experience. I suggest 20yrs hand on work and a minimum of five years in a supervisory position.
Having come this far we need to consider the composition of the British Parliament. There have been campaigns for the independence of Scotland, Wales and for an English Parliament.
The clear solution is to federalise the UK. We are part way there in that Scotland, Wales and Ulster have their assemblies that could be given equal rating as parliaments. With the same powers and responsibilities. Taking the principle that decisions should be taken at the lowest level the U.K. Parliament should concern itself with national issues only leaving other issues to the next level down.
Regional assemblies are the next issue. These exist now but when one region had a vote on the matter they voted not to have an elected regional assembly. What they were not told was that the alternative would be an un-elected assembly and worse, party appointees would populate this without reference to the people.
If we are to have regional assemblies they should be elected.
It follows logically from this that each body should be of such size as its duties dictate.
All that is left is to apportion the duties of each but this is beyond the scope of this exercise.
In recent years there have been demands for an elected upper house to replace the un-elected Lords or appointees. .
While I an sympathetic to the principle of democracy over inherited right, countries where they have elected upper chambers e.g. the USA, the upper house is elected at the lower house mid term point. This results in a president in opposition to the lower house. This can results in a logjam, which impedes activity. Some would argue that this prevents the President from having too much power.
A solution to this might be an indirectly elected upper house.
Many organisations elect their leaders. My suggestion is that these organisations would put forward the candidates. The organisations would be any with more than a set minimum number of members and could include, for example, Universities, Trade Unions, C.B.I., and the larger religious sects. This would result in an upper house selected for known ability and non-partisan. One result of this would be the exchanging of he Lord Bishops for the Chief Rabbi and the Moderator of the Free Church